In a recent survey, it turns out that nearly all of us know someone who is suffering from anxiety and depression or is losing control of their alcohol or drug use. Simply put, the social restrictions placed on us by the coronavirus pandemic have caused many of us to feel we’re spiraling out of control. And, though a record number of people are concerned and feeling hopeless about regaining control without professional help, many feel too embarrassed to seek help.
As a reminder, you are not alone. Getting help for you or your loved one might be the best investment you’ll ever make. Seeking professional help from a licensed therapist can be key to regaining control during the pandemic and learning powerful skills that can help you and your family for years to come.
Numerous studies reveal that what you’ve experienced is shared by others:
- Alcohol consumption has increased by 14% compared with a year ago, including 17% for women, according to a report published in the JAMA Network Open.
- Studies have shown a 41% increase in heavy drinking for women, with heavy drinking is defined as four or more drinks for women within a couple of hours and five or more for men.
- Alcohol sales at the beginning of the pandemic in March rose 54%, according to a Nielsen survey.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cited a “concerning acceleration” of opioid-related overdoses last year with new data from around the U.S. confirming that drug overdoses have risen by roughly 18%.
Experts note that people of color, particularly Black and Latin communities are most vulnerable to addiction and overdoses, often lacking access to affordable health care and addiction treatment.
Dr. George F. Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told USA TODAY that past research has found people are more likely to binge drink “during times of uncertainty and duress.”
“Any increases in alcohol use during the pandemic could be a cause for concern, particularly if the increases stem from an attempt to cope with negative emotions associated with the crisis,” Dr. Koob said.
According to the CDC, many communities have faced mental health challenges because of COVID-19. Following its research, the CDC reported elevated levels of adverse mental health conditions, substance use, and suicidal ideation as reported by adults in the United States in June 2020. The prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders were up nearly 25%, and approximately one in 10 reported that they started or increased substance use because of COVID-19.
Addiction Policy Forum, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting addiction, conducted a study to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on individuals with SUD. It found that its patients and their families were feeling the negative emotional effects of the pandemic, with nearly three-quarters (74%) of all respondents saying they noticed changes in their emotions since the pandemic began. The top emotions reported by respondents were worry (62%), sadness (51%), fear (51%), and loneliness (42%).
We Need Support Now More Than Ever
Despite the increase in substance abuse during the pandemic, it’s not uncommon for individuals to find it challenging to continue necessary treatment services.
COVID has proven to be a big obstacle to social interactions and group settings, both of which are foundational to recovery. Additionally, due to the pandemic, treatment centers nationwide have either closed or limited in-person visits due to stay-at-home orders or virus outbreaks.
Though the Addiction Policy Forum found that while increased substance use was found, more than one in three respondents reported changes or disruptions in accessing treatment or recovery support services. Fourteen percent surveyed said they were unable to receive their needed services.
Its study found that the lack of access to in-person or support group meetings was a primary concern, with many citing that online meetings did not have nearly the same impact.
“The COVID-19 pandemic creates significant challenges for those struggling with addiction,” said Jessica Hulsey, president of the Addiction Policy Forum.
“From patients in treatment to those in recovery to family members and caregivers, too many are struggling with disruptions in care. The data show that the presence of continuous stress and triggers and the absence of coping and support mechanisms are coinciding with emotional distress. This may equate to an increase in relapses and overdoses nationwide.”
For people seeking help or those in recovery, Progressive Institute underscores the need for structure and community. Now is the time to seek help.
While the pandemic has caused some disruption in the traditional support and path to rehabilitation, Progressive Institute and its team of compassionate, highly trained professionals remain focused on your recovery and overall well-being. We continue to provide comprehensive outpatient treatment services, both in-person and virtually.
“We believe in meeting people where they are at, so during the pandemic, we created new programs to help manage the unique stresses of the pandemic and offered them both in-person and with telehealth and video conferencing,” said Curt Kuliga, Founder, and CEO, The Progressive Group.
Brian Nash, RCP, CPRS, Director of Clinical Outreach and Recovery Coaching further added “Our team of recovery coaches continue to help people so that they are comfortable, even if it means meeting in a parking lot and standing 6 feet apart”.
Substance Abuse Support in Fairfield County
With spring on the horizon, now is the time to think about your health and personal goals. You deserve to live your best life, free from the negative effects of drugs and alcohol.
We are here to help you get there.
Located in Fairfield County (Shelton, CT), we are a leading dual-licensed, JCAHO accredited, psychiatric and addiction outpatient treatment facility specializing in a range of services including Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs), individual and family therapy, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Recovery Coaching, drug testing, and medication monitoring and other services.
With comprehensive, collaborative, and personalized care for substance use and co-occurring disorders, we leverage therapeutic approaches grounded in the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Motivational Interviewing.
Recovery is a unique journey. As such, our team prides itself on offering a customized treatment pathway for each individual. Above all, we believe in developing a connection with each client to help them discover the most appropriate pathway to living a liberated life of long-term recovery and positive self-discovery.
A few key details about the outpatient mental health and substance use treatment at Progressive Institute:
- The comprehensive admissions process allows the Progressive team to gain a deep understanding of each individual’s unique circumstances as a way of creating the most effective treatment plan possible
- A unique combination of research-backed treatment modalities, medical informatics, and medication-assisted treatment programs is used to support each person
- A fully integrated recovery coaching program is comprised of coaches, clinicians, and medical recovery specialists, and is designed to support men, women, and adolescents throughout all stages of their journey
Help is Here for You
If you or a loved one is heavily relying on alcohol or drugs to cope, we implore you to connect with us today.
There is a better solution. We’ll provide healthier ways to manage pandemic-related anguish so that your future is bright and promising. We are committed to providing inclusive and affordable care, programming, and resources so that you can and will feel better.
Call us today at 203-816-6424 or click here for more information about our treatment services.